Rick Smith, a 29-year veteran who worked his way up through the ranks of the Kansas City Police Department, has been named its 45th police chief, reports the Kansas City Star. Smith, who will be sworn in Aug. 15, was greeted after the announcement last Friday with thunderous applause and shouts from a large group of police officers and civilian employees at the police headquarters community room. He called the appointment “a dream.” He replaced Darryl Forte, who retired in May after about six years as chief.
There were two finalists for the job–insider Smith and outsider Keith Humphrey, the police chief in Norman, Okla. Smith, who was strongly supported by the local police union, won the appointment by a 3-2 vote of the police board. Humphrey said he was surprised that the commissioners did not take more time to deliberate before their vote Friday, which Humphrey said came just 20 minutes after he was interviewed by the board. “I truly believe that they did not want someone from the outside,” he said. “I’m disappointed, but I’m not bitter.”